A Russian Christmas for Danish Greenpeace activist

Russia is forcing Arctic 30 to stay in the country even though international law allows them to leave until their trial is settled

Greenpeace activist Anne Mie Roer Jensen, the Danish member of the Arctic 30, will have to spend Christmas in St Petersburg after Russia's Investigative Committee ruled that she can't leave the country while awaiting trial.

While Jensen will be forced to remain in St Petersburg, Greenpeace Denmark spokesperson Jon Burgwald said the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has ruled that Jensen and the other non-Russian crew members should be allowed to go home.

READ MORE: Danish Greenpeace activist accuses Russia of kidnapping

"ITLOS made it crystal clear that Anne Mie and the 29 other crew members can go home until the case is settled," Burgwald told Politiken newspaper. "We are very displeased with the [Russian] ruling that completely contradicts that."

Jensen was among the 30 Greenpeace activists and freelance journalists who were arrested aboard the Arctic Sunrise and charged with piracy after their failed September 18 attempt to board a Gazprom oil rig in the Arctic Ocean.

READ MORE: Danish Greenpeace activist released on bail

While Russia reportedly dropped the piracy charges, she may still risk getting a seven-year prison sentence for hooliganism. 

Still no trial in sight
The Russian authorities won't say when Jensen's case will be brought to trial. Burgwald called for Denmark to put pressure on Russia to give the activist permission to leave.

"It could take anything from 14 days to two years," Burgwald said, "If we don't put pressure on them, the crew members may be stuck there for years. What Russia is doing right now is against international law and Denmark has to react. It means that they are keeping a Danish citizen prisoner in a foreign country."